The UK’s Jubilee Bank Holidays have come to an end. Now, along with complaining about our so called summer, we’ve been chatting about the damp squib of a flotilla, Madness on the roof of Buckingham Palace, and the legend that is Stevie Wonder.
But in this long weekend of pomp, spectacle and splendour, Grace Jones has hit the headlines for her multi-tasking hoola/singing act. Has it been her hoola activity that’s been keeping this 64 year old in such fine form?
According to the Hoop Dance Company, hoola hooping is one of the fastest growing fitness workouts in the UK and combines agility, movement and fun. Hoop fans say that benefits include weight loss, strengthened ab, thigh, glute and arm muscle tone and increases in energy and (notably) self confidence. Well, how else could Grace have pulled off that curious outfit?
If you want to start hooping, all you’ll need is a hoop and some space. Adults should choose adult fitness hoops rather than attempting to hoola with a child’s hoop. These are weighted with ball bearings so are easier to use. How long should you hoola? Well, as with all exercise, a half hearted attempt for five minutes won’t do much. Instead, hooping becomes a workout when you can keep it up for 30 minutes or more.
This is all very well, but will looking a little silly be worth it for those precious burned calories? The American Council on Exercise commissioned a study on hooping last year. Results showed that intermediate to advanced hoopers burnt an average of 210 calories every half an hour, which is similar to calories burned by boot-camp-style classes, step aerobics and cardio kickboxing.
So what are you waiting for? Grab that hoop and get hoola-ing today. (Catsuit optional!)
[Image credit: 6tee-zeven]